A quiet year for major catastrophes did not translate into fewerlosses for insurers, according to the Xactware 2014 PropertyReport.

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Severe weather damage from wind, hail, lightning and tornadoeswas at the fourth-highest level in history, Greg Pyne, Xactware'sassistant vice president of Pricing Data Services, said in astatement. The trend of high damage from severe weather continuedto trouble the industry in 2014. Total insured losses due tothunderstorms saw the fourth highest number on record, with $12.3billion.

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Xactware's XactAnalysis network processed 4,218,586 claimsestimates valued at $38,569,780,316. Year-over-year, the January2014 total of $3.02 billion for property estimates was more than$260 million higher than the January 2013 figure of $2.76 billion.June saw the most claims activity with a reported $4.44 billion inestimates. July came in second with $3.96 billion in propertyestimates, followed by October with $3.39 billion. The two monthswith the lowest estimate totals were November with $2.28 billionand December with $2.46 billion.

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The cost of the average fire loss continued its downward trend,dropping almost 9% from $45,268 in 2013 to $41,256 in 2014. Theaverage cost of a fire loss in 2012 was $46,374.

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The number of water losses increased from 865,043 in 2013 to1,208,297 and were the most common type of loss reported in 2014.The average cost of a water loss claim dropped 4% from $6,360 in2013 to $6,089 in 2014.

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Hail damage estimates also continued to increase, growing byalmost 19% to 1,173,099 in 2014, but the average cost remainedbasically the same from year to year.

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Xactimate tracks the losses from five primary sources:contractors, independent adjusters, mitigation providers, specialtyproviders and staff adjusters. The majority of the claims (65%)were compiled by staff adjusters (2.76 million), followed byindependent adjusters (22%) with 958,447 claims. Contractors andmitigation providers each compiled 6% of the claims, and specialtyproviders only 1%. According to the study, the claims estimates didnot include any reassigned estimates.

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The average price of the estimates for all of theseprofessionals dropped from 2014 to 2013. Specialty providers sawthe biggest drop in estimate costs going from $6,635 to $3,871.Independent adjusters saw a $1,390 decrease in their averageestimates.

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Fire losses uploaded by staff adjusters were the highestestimates with an average value of $46,363, but the number wasstill 10% lower than the 2013 figure of $52,012. Fire estimatesfrom independent adjusters averaged $41,565 and contractorssubmitted estimates at $22,713.

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Hail losses from specialty providers ran just over $20,000,almost twice as high as the estimates submitted by staff adjusters,independent adjusters and mitigation providers.

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Texas reported the highest number of personal property claimsvalued at $322.3 million, but California actually reported thehighest total value at $411.3 million. Colorado reported the mostpersonal property claims with five claims per 1,000 residents.

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